Hospice of Wake County M oves Ground for End-of-Life Care Facility Cary Building for Patients, Hospice Staff, to Open in 2009

October 07, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Raleigh, NC – With a ceremonial ground-breaking event held Thursday, October 4, Hospice of Wake County moved forward with its plan to build the first facility dedicated solely to end-of-life care for the residents of Wake and surrounding counties.

The campus will be home to three buildings; an in-patient facility, administrative offices, and an inter-faith chapel for a total of 42,000 square feet. The eight-acre plot is located in Cary near the intersection of Trinity Road and Trenton Road, near the Raleigh-Cary border. Construction will begin pending final approval from the Town of Cary. The building may receive its first patients in the first quarter of 2009.

In addition to providing care for up to 20 patients who cannot remain in their own home, the building will house Hospice of Wake County’s 160 employees now located in leased offices at 1300 Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh. Approximately 24 employees will be added to staff the in-patient facility.

More than 200 people, many long-time supporters, friends, volunteers, staff and dignitaries were on hand for the ceremony led by Hospice of Wake County CEO, John Thoma, and John Bason, President of the Board of Directors. Dr. Billy Dunlap, founder and member of the Board of Directors, spoke of the dream and vision.

“Twenty-seven years ago, Hospice of Wake County served its first patient after being granted permission from the State of North Carolina to provide hospice care to patients who were at the end of their lives,” recalled Dr. Billy Dunlap, HoWC founder and member of the Board of Directors. “Ever since then we have dreamed of having our own in-patient facility for those who can no longer be cared for at home. This event today is highly symbolic. It is a significant step toward moving a dream to brick and mortar.”
“This facility is critical to our mission and will be a giant leap forward for end of life care,” agreed board president, John Bason. “While Hospice care can not add days to life, it can and does add life to whatever days remain. Our Capital Campaign to raise funds for this facility has been extremely successful and having this ceremony (ground-breaking) today gives us new momentum to complete the campaign.”

“Support from the community has been overwhelming and was highlighted with a matching grant of one-million dollars from the Pope Foundation,” added John Thoma, CEO for HoWC. “After all these years the dream of a free-standing inpatient facility is becoming real. I am proud of the staff, volunteers, friends and communities who have been a part of making this vision a reality.”

Plans call for the 20 private patient rooms to be a home-like environment large enough to accommodate overnight stays by a family member, and child-friendly areas where children can feel comfortable expressing their feelings through play and art therapy. Grounds around the building will include quiet reflective spaces and gardens.

Hospice of Wake County is the oldest, largest and most experienced hospice organization serving Wake and surrounding counties. The agency helps patients and families deal with life-limiting diagnosis, counsels families throughout their grief journey, and provides community education programs.

Its professional staff and 250 trained volunteers provide expert medical care and supportive services to over 1800 families each year, helping patients receive pain control and symptom management appropriate for their needs. HoWC’s staff includes physicians; spiritual care counselors; bereavement counselors; nurses, nursing assistants; clinical counselors and social workers; trained volunteers; and nutritionists, physical and occupational and speech therapists.

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